Juneau Community Gardens


there’s great reward in growing your own food the magic of life is going from a seed to all of a sudden something you can put in your mouth over the years an amazing amount of food productivity has taken place in southeast Alaska in Juneau dairies small farms and private Gardens have helped feed the local population and since 1992 the Juneau Community Garden on Montana Creek Road has been where people have shared land and resources to grow food despite the sometimes rainy weather there’s an obvious enthusiasm from Juneau residents who grow their own food in Juno’s community garden the three acre site on city-owned land includes about 120 plots each measuring 10 by 20 feet the availability of community gardens makes it so that those people who don’t have a good spot of land to be growing in their own property they can go to a community garden and and have a space to grow their own food because you know what you’re eating in this day and age they’re encouraging people to grow some of their own food due to the economics oh the eating of the fresh produce having something that you know everything that is in the bill all the ingredients come from your own efforts Juno’s community garden is open to the public participants pay a small fee to help with expenses and provide some volunteer service they also have access to shared equipment like hand tools rototillers and wheel barrels plus dirt sand alaska brewery hops compost piles and there’s other gardeners who are happy to help it’s fun for me because I can come out and share my knowledge as a master gardener if the great thing is with so many other gardeners too is you pick up on Colley what are you growing this year what is that does that really work here so the more that we grow in community gardens the more people are eating and the result is is better health this is celery it grows quite well around here likes a lot of moisture so it’s good a good thing in addition to celery there’s a surprising variety of foods that grow in Juneau soil peas rhubarb potatoes carrots turnips beets parsnips broccoli cauliflower cabbage lettuce spinach raspberries strawberries and more the Juneau community garden does more than help June already a ste healthy foods it also helps grow something equally important so that this community garden provides a space for various activities and the kids get to come here and we and they get to learn about how these plants are growing and they get to experience the bounty and the abundance that’s coming from this garden yeah and they’ve harvested and now get to reap the rewards and we’re going to grind it up so it makes a puree and then add some honey to it and spread it out and make a nice the Jensen Olson Arboretum is at mile 23 on the glacier highway it’s another place to learn about growing and harvesting food these plants have done a wonderful job these are the potato plants they’ve done a wonderful job of getting that energy from the Sun and now putting it into their roots these are called Maria’s potatoes and they’re an heirloom potato that the Clintons have been growing for generations they have come up along trade routes and they’re perfectly suited for growing in southeast Alaska Bay they don’t mind the cold damp weather there’s another kind of community garden in Juneau it’s private to provide growing space for residents of greening Park itse each resident have a bed that really wants to garden and grow their own produce that’s what I’d really like this this is the best way good in addition to the existing Juno community gardens there’s interest in adding new ones closer to where other people live such as North Douglas downtown Douglas downtown Juneau and more and that’s the idea with a community garden is you want it to be convenient and you want it to be an attractive safe fun place to be plans are moving ahead for one new community garden at an unlikely location on South Franklin at the glory hole container gardens will be placed on the roof without exceeding load limits and terraced Gardens will grow behind the building glory hole patrons will help with garden upkeep whether it’s downtown out of town in Douglas or at Montana Creek community gardens are growing in Juneau my favorite part about gardening in Juneau is when you have a good summer and you get a good crop it’s very relaxing almost like meditation it’s being out here with my son I think and sharing the excitement of growing things with him because that’s what my parents did with me there are realities to community gardening that need to be mentioned Juneau is in a rain forest and that means clouds instead of Sun cool temperatures and rain that leeches nutrients from the soil gardening also takes time new gardeners should plan on at least eight hours to prepare and plant a single plot and then two to four hours a week to maintain it and there’s another Juneau gardening reality in addition to porcupines deer bear slugs and voles we’ll also find your food appealing but despite the challenges growing your own food means it tastes better and you know what is and as importantly what is not in it and gardening produces some pleasant social spin-offs like gatherings simply to share your food some create fresh food baskets for charity auctions produce salad dinners for friends take part in the rhubarb at the community garden and more if you want to grow your own healthy foods or want to start a new community garden the Juneau office of the Cooperative Extension Service is the place to begin it’s located downtown in the bill Wray center called 796 6221 or just stop in the University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service has practical information for gardeners and experts who can offer suggestions and advice then next summer you can literally be enjoying the fruits of your own garden there’s nothing like growing your own food it’s great having fresh produce you know what’s on your plants or in your plants it makes you feel really good to be growing their own things you know there’s no fee there’s just something fulfilling about gardening and growing your own that enriches people




Comments
  1. hey hey! Have you tried – zrumplina diy aquaponics (Have a quick look on google cant remember the place now)? Ive seen some super things about it and my friend grew amazing veggies with it. 

  2. Great explanation of a successful community garden! UCCE Master Gardener Program of Santa Clara County, CA has a YouTube channel, too. Hope you'll take a look sometime. https://www.youtube.com/user/CAMasterGardener

  3. Wow… only 3 acres? I've got ten I'm willing to let out for a community garden if people want to use it in Washington. 😉

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